Saturday, November 24, 2012

PAP’s quiet counter-insurgency (Singapore)

Interesting perspective on media, propaganda, and 'counter-insurgency" conducted via the internet in Singapore.

PAP’s quiet counter-insurgency

The ruling party’s digital initiative is to defend itself or go on the offensive against online critics, which include Opposition representatives.

MORE details have emerged from one of the world’s most unusual government operations which involve sending teams of agents into cyberspace to take on its critics.

It was launched by the People’s Action Party (PAP) five years ago under Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and several top MPs to counter a rising tide of anti-establishment postings.

It formed a new media committee, which included what The Straits Times described in 2007 as “a quiet PAP counter-insurgency” group. It would send teams of members anonymously into various message boards to rebut anti-government criticisms.

A PAP activist was quoted then as saying that his job was to track popular blogs and forums to “see if there is anything we can clarify” on controversial issues such as the impending hike in the Goods and Services Tax.

Then on Oct 11, a blog threw more light on the operation allegedly with information supplied by a former agent. It also promised more reports. (Five days later the movement posted an offer to buy Internet user IDs from account holders, paying each a few hundred dollars or more. The longer they had been used, the higher the value.)
(Continued at link above)

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